Iveagh Market Roof Restoration Project to Begin

Initial enabling works begin this month, while the main works programme will start later this year and continue through 2025


Life, Love The Liberties

Much anticipated refurbishment work to the roof of the Iveagh Market is set to start in April.

A design team, led by conservation experts Howley Hayes Cooney Architects, working for Dublin City Council, will oversee an initial phase of work to create a secure site in the historic market hall and erect an internal scaffold and ‘crash decks’ to allow access to the expansive roof of the building.  This phase of work will also include extensive surveys of the roof and super structure, which have been difficult to access until now.

The Iveagh Market, which was built by the Guinness family in 1906 and operated by Dublin Corporation until the mid-1990s, has been the subject of much concern in recent years. A planned redevelopment of the market, first mooted in the mid-1990s by the developer Martin Keane, failed to materialise. For over two decades the market has been allowed to fall into disuse and decay.

Since 2019 the market has been the subject of various legal proceedings to decide its ownership. Meanwhile the condition of the market has declined further and in 2023 a portion of its roof fell in. This damage prompted political action and the Government has made €9m available through the Urban Development & Regeneration Fund to save and restore the roof, as the first part of a wider renewal of the building. A further €3m has been pledged by Dublin City Council.

In recent months the building as been assessed by Howley Hayes Cooney Architects. This has found the main structure in generally sound condition. The main ironwork supporting the roof is also structurally sound. However elements of the roof such as timbers, slates and large areas of glazing all require replacement. This will be the focus of the main works being undertaken in 2025.

Another area of concern is a large excavation in the centre of the dry market. The excavation was undertaken in the early 2000s as part of archaeological exploration of the site. It was originally intended to install a basement. The excavation exposed the brick bases of the iron columns supporting the main gallery. While these bases are all sound, its proposed to bolster the column bases with a new structure and to fill in the excavation.

The project will continue in phases over the next two years and when completed will see the market made sound and watertight, but still requiring refurbishment of its external walls and brickwork and the fitout of its interior.  The future use of the Iveagh Market is also yet to be determined. And there remains the vexed issue of contested ownership and ongoing legal proceedings.

Nevertheless, the beginning of the roof restoration project, finally draws a line under the continued decline of the building and gives hope that the Iveagh Market will return to its place at the heart of The Liberties’ commercial life.

Phase 1 works will begin in April and continue to the end of June. A tender for the main restoration works (Phase 2) will issue later in 2024 and its expected that this work will take approximately 12 months. The project team propose to publish regular bulletins on the progress of the project to keep the wider community informed.  


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